Embracing your story and skills to thrive through the unknown of COVID-19 and beyond

 

Find your own voice and do all you can to amplify it.
-Abiola Ajetomobi

In last nights ‘Women Power’ online event we gathered with our guest speakers Abiola Ajetomobi, Maria Chindris and Sandy McDonald to tap into their well and wealth of knowledge around how to flourish out of an unfavourable situation. These three inspiring guests and women, though of course unique to each other, have a few things in common – things that we knew would make for some great insights for us all in such a time.

Abiola Ajetomobi, director of the Innovation Hub at Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC), Maria Chindris, Community Relations Lead at Sisterworks Inc and Sandy McDonald, Founder of Sandy McDonald.com and charity CreateCare Global, have all had the experience of being a migrant or of a migrant family in Australia. Having migrated is of course only a part of their stories, however, it is a part that impacted their lives on arrival and inspired or caused them to grow and adapt in new ways. In entering unfamiliar territory one definitely has to be flexible and think outside of the box. Through the last nights’ event, we got to hear some powerful snippets of stories surrounding this transition and what it took to become successful in their fields, as well as to become women who now help others to make similar transitions and move from arriving through to surviving and thriving, even when it seems impossible, even now during COVID-19.

I was personally super inspired by this event in a way that I didn’t realise I would be when it was starting. I thought that perhaps this event would have a lot of practical and businessy tips that may not have applied to me, however, I found that there was something for everyone to take away from the conversation and discussion that opened up which we’d like to share with you here today!

 

  • Be flexible in your approach and thinking: The more flexible that you can be in this time the better. Allow yourself to be open to new ways of doing business, connecting, networking and selling.
  • Maintain relevance: Abiola Ajetomobi shared that in her experience through various challenges and changes being relevant is extremely important to ensure a continuity of business through this time and beyond. When people have a need or a problem, you need to be the one they think of to turn to for the provision of a solution. To do this you will need to consistently upskill yourself in your field and be more than a specialist, be deeply interested and curious in both your research and execution.
  • Recognition: Skills aren’t the only aspect of being recognised these days. Being in business means that you will need to be savvy at more than just the service you provide, you will also need to be aware of how to deliver that message to your audience and develop recognition for yourself. This is an area that many small-medium business owners don’t like, however it truly is the difference in surviving and thriving in business.
  • “Find your own voice, do all you can to amplify it. When people are not accepting of you, they have already made up their minds. This allows you to be freer to share your story.” – Abiola Ajetomobi. This really had me stop and think. Many of us have or would allow feeling unwanted in a space to make us shy away or make ourselves small, but no, take up space! The few who need or want to hear what you have to share will connect with you and be the genuine few who with time will grow.
  • Get clear on your purpose: Take time to dig deep in finding the purpose of your product. Whether you’re beginning a business or have been in business for a while, this is such an integral practice for connecting better with your audience. Sandy McDonald champions that it is these details that make all of the difference when creating marketing packages and more.
  • Repurpose your materials where possible: Look for ways that you can repurpose the materials you already work with to suit the current needs. Maria Chindris uses the example of women in Sisterworks creating masks to suit peoples needs to protect themselves during the current COVID-19 health issue.
  • Adapting to online platforms: Maria Chindris also shared that though the current health crisis has negatively impacted many people, there is an opportunity to adapt and learn new ways of working. Sisterworks is helping women to use online platforms and apps for their work and sales purposes so that they can continue to do business.
  • Learn the language of business: Whilst we want to encourage women to tap into their unique ways of communicating and doing business attendee and business consultant Sue Barrett shared the importance of knowing the language of business in the domain that we decide to work in. Having an insight into the domain that you’re going into or working within is important to be able to adapt and connect.

So there you have it! The event brought out some truly inspiring tips that we can all embrace and embody during COVID-19 and beyond to help us connect, survive and thrive.

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